Stuart Hogg has said he’d rather listen to the opinions of Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll than Eddie O’Sullivan ahead of Scotland’s encounter with Ireland.
After the last time the two played in the Autumn Nations Cup, RTE pundit O’Sullivan accused Scotland of being “deluded” and was unimpressed with Hogg’s talk of progress within the Scottish camp.
Ireland forwards coach O’Connell has a much more complimentary view of Gregor Townsend’s team, calling them the best Scottish side he has faced as a player or coach.
Hogg was speaking to The Scotsman ahead of the game and indicated that himself and his team are paying more attention to positive comment such as O’Connell’s, rather than O’Sullivan’s jibes.
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Hogg dismisses O’Sullivan comments.
“I think everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” Hogg said.
“It seemed that mine wasn’t very valued, but the pleasing thing from a Scottish point of view is you’ve got some absolute legends of the game backing us up about how we’re playing – Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll.
“And to have players of that calibre commend us on the way that we’re playing and get excited about watching us, that’s a huge pat on the back. And it’s those kind of comments that we’ll enjoy.
“But, as I said, everybody’s entitled to their opinion. I had mine, Eddie had his, they probably didn’t match up, but look, what’s done is done. We just need to go out there tomorrow and show what we’re really about.”
‘They always talk themselves up.’
Former Ireland head coach O’Sullivan was dismissive of Scotland after they lost 31-16 to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium last December.
“We’ve seen all this before. They always talk themselves up. They always talk up a great game. They’ve some deluded notion that they’re actually better than they are, and I’m not just being harsh,” O’Sullivan commented.
“These guys haven’t won here in 10 years. They’ve won three times against Ireland in nearly 20 years. It’s just deluded.”
However, there is a sense that the game will be much closer this time around, as Scotland can take confidence from their first victory against England at Twickenham in 38 years in the first round of the Six Nations.